Attorney general testifies on in-house counsel bill - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Attorney general testifies on in-house counsel bill

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 by Isa Baza

Guam - A proposal vetoed last year is once again before the Guam Legislature. Bill 30 introduced by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz would require all autonomous agencies hire an in-house legal counsel rather than retain a private attorney. Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett Anderson says she supports reducing costs of legal services wherever and however possible.

She stated, "I agree with the vice speaker wholeheartedly - you can get a very experienced attorney for about $120,000 or a little less. That's good money these days for an in-house counsel. No problem that it's classified. My one concern with government or the line agencies or even the autonomous agencies hiring in-house is that extra 10% I can't give my solicitor attorneys, so I do know that if this bill does pass, line agencies who are authorized to hire their own lawyer like the Guam DOE, will turn to the ranks of the assistant attorney generals in my office who have the experience in the issue of procurement, and personnel, etc. and offer them that 10-percent and I will lose them."

Should this bill pass, she requests for the Guam Legislature to support her efforts to rebuild the Solicitor's Division of the Office of the Attorney General.

As for the legislature between Fiscal Years 2011 and 2014 they've paid over $1 million in legal services contracts for multiple private counsel representing various senators.
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